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Full text of "A history of Persia"

XLVIII

THE OMAYYAD CALIPHATE          55
Khorasan under the Caliphate of Omar //., A.H. 99-101
(717-720).—Sulayman died after a short reign of less
than three years, and was succeeded by the pious Omar,
to -whose credit lies the abolition of the curses against Ali,
which must have given dire and continual offence to
generations of devout Moslems. Omar improved the
position of the inhabitants of Khorasan, many of whom,
though converted to Islam, suffered none the less on that
account from the exactions of the tax collector. Sending
for representatives of the oppressed, the Caliph himself
went into their case, dismissed the Governor, and laid down
that all Moslems should be placed on terms of perfect
equality^ He enjoined justice towards the Persians who re-
mained Zoroastrians, forbidding the destruction of their fire
temples though not permitting the erection of new pyres.
The Reign of Tezid //., A.H. 101-105 (720-724).—
Omar II. was succeeded by Yezid IL,1 son of Abdul
Malik. But the new Caliph had first to crush a rebellion
raised by his namesake the son of Muhallab, who had
seized Irak, and so far made good his position that
governors ruled in his name in Pars, Kerman, and other
centres in Persia, Maslama, the Caliph's brother, was
selected to lead the Syrian army, which defeated the rebels,
Yezid> their chief, being killed in the battle. His brothers,
who fled by sea to the Kerman province, were put to death
and their iramilies were sold as slaves. As a reward for
his great services Maslama was appointed Governor of
both Irak and Khorasan, To the latter province he sent
his son-in-law Said, an effeminate man quite out of place
as Warden of the Marches. In spite of Moslem expedi-
tions there was a general rising or the hordes in Khojand
and Ferghana, and the Soghdians, who remained loyal,
suffered considerably before help could be afforded them.
When troops arrived on the scene they attacked the
Soghdians, who had by that time broken away from their
allegiance, and there was much indecisive fighting and
raiding. Altogether during the reign of Yezid II. the
decadence of the Omayyad dynasty becomes more marked.
* The examination by thit Caliph of the first recorded English traveller to the East
It related in Chapter LIZ.